Many people like to do things themselves. From fixing the leak under the kitchen sink to remodeling their entire upstairs, more and more people feel confident in their DIY capabilities. As a result, less individuals hire professional help even when they probably need to. But when it comes to drafting a will, trust or power of attorney, it is wise to hire an experienced Renton estate planning attorney.

Benefits of Using an Estate Planning Lawyer vs. DIY

Estate planning is serious business, and one wrong word or a missing signature in an estate plan can change the entire intent of the document, or even render it invalid. At the Law Offices of Dan Kellogg, we encourage Renton residents to utilize the services of our estate planning law firm for the following reasons:

  1.     State Estate Planning Laws Can Be Complicated

State laws are very specific about what can and cannot be in a will or trust; who can and cannot be named a beneficiary; how many individuals must bear witness to the signing of a will; who can and cannot serve as power of attorney; and what formalities must be observed in the creation and signing of a will. There is a lot that goes into the creation of a will – much more than naming a few beneficiaries, signing a document, and putting it in a safe for safekeeping. Most consumers do not understand the little nuances that go into estate planning, and so are at risk for creating an invalid will if they attempt to DIY.

For example, in accordance with Washington State Code, Section 11.12.010, et seq., handwritten wills are always invalid, but oral wills are acceptable so long as the total value of assets does not exceed $1,000. Two witnesses must be present at the signing of the will, and must either attest to the will itself or sign an affidavit. They must be in the presence of the testator when they do so.

Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in an invalid will, which would only be realized upon the reading of the will, when it is too late.

  1.     EZ Forms Can Cost You More Than They Will Save You

Most EZ estate planning forms found online are generic, and do not take into consideration the laws of a user’s home state, the total value of their assets, estate planning taxes, or other considerable rules and regulations. While this may not affect the testator, their family will be in for a rude awakening when they learn that part or all of the decedent’s will or estate planning document is invalid or will not work as planned. In the long run, their family will have to spend thousands of dollars probating the estate without a will to remedy the decedent’s mistakes.

  1.     A Renton Estate Planning Lawyer Will Take Into Consideration All of Your Complex Needs

An online form cannot and will not take into consideration a person’s complex personal or financial situation. From second marriages to business ownership, to children of two or more marriages to substantial retirement funds, most individuals’ situations are a lot more complex than what EZ forms allow them to claim. A Renton estate planning lawyer will take into consideration all of an individual’s unique needs and ensure that their estate plan reflects those.

Consult a Renton Estate Planning Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Dan Kellogg, our Renton estate planning lawyer can help you draft a will, trust, or power of attorney that meets your complex needs, and that will fulfill your end-of-life wishes without complication. While there are many things in life that are okay to DIY, estate planning should not be one of them. Contact our law firm to schedule a consultation with attorney Dan Kellogg today, (425) 227-8700.